It is our dream to be able to reach every major language group on the planet with great preaching. How shall they hear without a preacher? This means that not only must there be sermons in those languages, but the interface itselfâ€”the menus, the Bible references, the labels, instructionsâ€”need to be in those languages as well.
For example, a Spanish speaker shouldn't have to navigate through an English website or app to listen to Spanish sermons. Both the sermon and the interface should be entirely in Spanish to remove every obstacle.
This is our goal. We've got our sights set on the world!
We've taken a big step towards that goal. Sermons 2.0 and ChurchOne are our newest apps that have full localized support. Solo Sites are also fully localized so that visitors who have their browser set to a particular, local language will automatically be presented with the site translated in that language.
In addition, the Church Finder and Sermon Dashboard are fully localized so that broadcasters in foreign countries can easily upload and manage sermons without knowing a single word of English.
How do we intend to do this technically?
We are working with interns from the BJU Computer Science Department that will facilitate this entire process immensely. Here's what I mean.
The 2.0 website, the 2.0 apps, and the back-end system messages all have "English strings" or phrases that must be translated. All three of these systems store their strings in different formats respectively. This internationalization effort will involve extracting all strings from these disparate file formats, updating a central database, and providing a special web interface for translators to login and easily maintain the strings in their language. Once they are complete, the process needs to be done again but in reverse. The database needs to be updated, and all strings must be exported to the various file formats for web, mobile, and back-end. All this must happen automatically and must be completely integrated with our source-code controls, and eventually deployed to the production environments for all three systems.
This is the only way to maintain sanity with the hundreds of strings that are always changing! Once this is done, it will allow us to add many more languages and work with many more volunteer translators.
Assistance for churches in foreign countries.
It is our desire to create sermon repositories for every major language on the planet. So, what we've done in the English-speaking world through SermonAudio, we would love to see done in the Spanish-speaking world, in the Chinese-speaking world, in the Portuguese-speaking world, and so on. There needs to be a repository of great preaching, Biblical sermons in Spanish.
The challenge is that, although we try to keep our price as reasonable as possible, many churches in these parts of the world still cannot afford to broadcast their sermons with us and must resort to free platforms that do not help the cause of the Kingdom.
In the providence of God, we have been able to partner with a non-profit organization called Amicus Ecclesiae (Friend of the Church) which will, in essence, provide a kind of scholarship for churches that are demonstrably in need of financial assistance to distribute their sermons online.
If you know a church that fits the description, or if you would like to help contribute to the mission of Amicus, please do contact them!
So, let's work together and get great preaching to more people!